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Stone-edged bed, keeping grass out - Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Marinucci_Landscaping, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Marinucci_Landscaping

    Marinucci_Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Hey all,

    I have a problem with an estimate and am looking for a bit of advice. I had a potential customer call me and ask if I could do something to help keep grass out of her beds. More specifically, she is looking to keep grass out of the stone that lines the beds. Of course, she wants the work to be as permanent as possible, keeping grass out while requiring little maintenance, or money, in the long term.

    Edging in front of the stone would help to create a barrier between the lawn and the stone. This edging would need to be maintained annually, would very well likely loosen the stone and weaken the border around the bed, and the grass would still end up finding a way of growing up into the edging and stone in due time. With this in mind, I'm not so sure this would be the most effective solution.

    I suggested removing the stone, digging out the grass that was present between the stone (pictured), and extending out maybe an inch or two into the lawn to create a buffer zone. Additionally, I was thinking that putting down bed-liner fabric (placing it under the stone) would help to prevent new grass from taking. Overtime this liner would get covered by erosion from the bed and such, and some grass may take, but as of now I can't really think of a more permanent solution.

    So I guess what I'm looking for is a bit of advice on how to tackle this problem. Am I on the right track here with my possible solution? Or does someone have a better alternative? Oh, no chemicals either... she's very organic minded. I included a bunch of pictures to give you an idea of what I'm working with. Thank you in advance!

    - Marinucci




  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

  3. Marinucci_Landscaping

    Marinucci_Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    My god. Not to be that guy, but that looks fantastic. You do great work.

    Any who, setting it in Type S mortar... this is very new to me, so please excuse the naivete. She has probably has about 250 feet of beds, is something like that practical time wise and expense wise? I get the impression that she wouldn't drop more than a few hundred dollars on the project, but I could be wrong. Is using this type of mortar difficult to do? I wouldn't know where to start. Thanks again.

    - Marinucci
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Time wise- it's tedious when doing it by your self but 2 guys could knock out 250 feet in one day. It does take practice, but you get the hang of it pretty easily. Prep work is key to make sure your trench for the edging is uniform in depth, and I always run string lines to keep my lines strait and to keep from having any undulations in my edging run.

    Type S mortar is just a mortar mix with a bit more Portland cement in it to give it strength. I use it because my clients like to be able to take the outside mower wheel along to edge to keep from having to do too much trimming. So the type S is strong enough to take the abuse of any mower. One bag generally gives me about 8-10 feet of edging at a time. I just mix it by hand in a wheelbarrow, but I think this year I might invest in a mixer to make it go faster. I wouldn't be surprised if I've mixed over 300 bags of mortar the last 4 years.

    Yes, everyone wants things done on the cheap, but I like to up-sell. Not only to make things correct, but also to give my customer the longest lasting landscape I can give them for the buck. Ultimately I try to sell the "20 year" landscape. If she really wants to stop the grass from growing back in then the block and mortar method is the best in my book of tricks.

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